Victor Osimhen can’t stop scoring as he helps Napoli beat Empoli to go 18 points clear at the top of Serie A table on Saturday, 25th February.
Ardian Ismajli, an Empoli defender, scored an own goal to break the scoreless tie before Victor Osimhen scored his 19th league goal of the year to make it 2-0.
Brazilian left back Mario Rui was sent off in the second half following a scuffle with Francesco Caputo, but Luciano Spalletti’s team held on comfortably.
With a win at Bologna on Sunday, Inter can close the gap to 15 points once more.
Osimhen has now scored in his past eight Serie A games, becoming the first player to do so since Cristiano Ronaldo, who did so for Juventus in 11 consecutive games.
In the second half, the Nigerian attacker again had the ball in the net, but this time the goal was disallowed for an offside offense that occurred during the build up to the goal.
With 65 points, Napoli is still in first place, having preserved a clean sheet in each of their past four league games for the second time under coach Luciano Spalletti. They did the same thing in October 2021.
“Everyone is playing their lives against us,” Spalletti told DAZN in a post-match conference.
“The fact that we maintain the distance against the others [in the standings] is a sign that the team has understood what the spirit should be.”
“Everyone is there wondering towards the future [and the championship] but I say it’s better to have an egg today than a hen tomorrow.”
After finishing in second place four times since 2013, Napoli is vying for their first Serie A championship since 1989–1990.
They controlled the game from the start and exerted enough pressure on Empoli, who are in the middle of the league, to force Ismajli into scoring an own goal in the 17th minute.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of Napoli’s side played a lofted pass from the edge of the box to Piotr Zielinski, who saw Osimhen in front of goal, but Ismajli scored before his cross could reach the striker.
Three minutes later, Empoli had a long-range opportunity to tie the game, but Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret expertly blocked midfielder Liam Henderson’s close-range attempt.
Just before the half-hour mark, Osimhen doubled Napoli’s lead by tapping in a rebound from close range after Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario had parried a Kvaratskhelia shot directly into the Nigerian’s path.
A few minutes later, Vicario denied the in-form Osimhen of another goal.
The Napoli Star has now scored in each of his previous eight Serie A games, making him the first player to accomplish this feat since Cristiano Ronaldo.
In the 67th minute, defender Mario Rui was given a straight red for a tackle on Empoli forward Francesco Caputo, leaving the visitors down to ten men.
Empoli, who have lost their previous five games, are in 12th place with 28 points.
While Empoli travels to Monza, who are now in 11th place, the following day, Napoli will face Lazio on Friday.
Victor James Osimhen, a striker for Serie A side Napoli and the Nigerian national team, was born in Nigeria on December 29, 1998. He is recognized as one of the top strikers in the world.
Osimhen, a Nigerian-born player, started his senior career in Germany in 2017 with VfL Wolfsburg.
After spending a season and a half with the team, he moved on loan to Charleroi in Belgium in 2018–19 before joining Lille in France.
Osimhen moved to Serie A team Napoli in 2020 for a club-record €70 million. In the 2021–22 season, he was named the Best Young Player in Serie A.
Osimhen This Season For Napoli
In a 4-0 victory over Sassuolo on October 29, 2022, he recorded his first hat-trick in Serie A.
He broke Simy’s record of 31 goals in the Italian Serie by scoring one goal and assisting on another to help Napoli defeat Atalanta 2-1 on November 11, 2022. With 33 goals overall, he now holds the record for most goals scored by a Nigerian in the league.
Osimhen assisted in another goal on January 13, 2023, as Napoli defeated Juventus 5-1.
He scored his 100th career goal on February 17, 2023, to help Napoli defeat Sassuolo 2-0.
In the three-point period, he also became the first player in Napoli history to score in seven straight league games.